One of corporate America’s next big goals might surprise you: passing legislation to prevent unions from having to represent workers who don’t pay dues. This is just the latest of many business-friendly labor law reforms proliferating across the country.
According to Kroger, sports partisanship on the job is OK but union partisanship is not.
The grocery chain has long allowed employees to wear team jerseys of their choice on designated “game days.” NASCAR and NFL teams are among the honorees.
But when Kroger workers in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio began wearing UFCW Local 400 jerseys to work on game day, as part of their campaign for a new contract, the company abruptly announced that only Kroger uniforms were allowed—nationwide.
At Labor Notes trainings I hear lots of reasons why union members think their co-workers aren’t involved: They don’t understand labor history. They don’t appreciate all the union has done for them. They watch Fox News. They’re scared or apathetic.
I always say, “Remember what inspires people to organize a union in the first place. They join and stay involved when they experience what it means to wield collective power.”
The Machinists’ loss in the February 15 union vote at Boeing was devastating. Out of 3,000 workers eligible to cast ballots at the Charleston, South Carolina, plant, 2,097 voted against unionization, and only 731 in favor.
But contrary to the armchair wisdom of pundits, this vote was not a referendum on whether or not it’s possible to organize in the South.
The Machinists faced a relentless anti-union campaign. Boeing and a statewide business advocacy group saturated local television, radio, newspapers, and social media with hundreds of anti-union ads.